Exercise 2: Emphasising form with cloth

This exercise called for less detail and more of a gestural approach, describing the way the cloth defines the form underneath. I worked on a sheet of paper roughly a2 size, I wanted to work on a large scale, drawing more from the elbow and throwing my line across the surface in a way that would mimic the clothes characteristics, such as the way it hangs, folds and suspends from the underlying shapes.

As detail wasn’t the priority I decided to use my 5.6mm mechanical pencil, its a lovely, heavy hunk of graphite with a comfortable feel, it can be sharpened to a point with a suitable sharpener, in this case (and most cases) I used it quite dull, I feel it promotes rapid strokes and is good for capturing fluid gestures etc.

I chose a fairly straight on pose, I made the subject (my partner Kathleen) as comfortable as possible then adjusted some of the folds and hanging material of the dressing gown over her legs and off the chair, I was hoping that the curve of the fabric would better describe the form beneath. With speed and great energy I worked over the entire drawing, planning and marking key points in my composition, and once everything was in place, happy with my proportions and arrangement, I started to work over the drawing with more intensity, following the folds

of the dressing gown. Trying to repeat the actions of the previous exercise, I found myself using harder, darker and thicker marks to describe the creases origin until it fades off or diverged into a new fold. Using tone as well as line weight to suggest depth was quite effective. Drawing the figure underneath the cloth also introduced some other types of creases in fabric, most notably where cloth was under stress, such as around the pocket area, the fabric pulling upwards or towards a point of contortion, had a very different appearance to a crease that was suspended. I was happy with the outcome, I haven’t really drawn many figures from life since college, there I was studied the male and female nude and it really was quite evocative. When the world returns back to a state of normality and time permitting I would like to find some life drawings courses in my local area.

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